The Wine: Saturnalia 2018
Tony Coturri Saturnalia is a red natural wine made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma, California. This wine made by California natural wine OG producer Tony Coturri is fermented spontaneously, and bottled with no fining, filtration, or any addition.
The Producer: Tony Coturri
Coturri Winery is located on Sonoma Mountain, above the tiny hamlet of Glen Ellen, in the region know as the Valley of the Moon. It was founded in 1979 by Harry "Red" Coturri and his sons Tony and Phil. Red learned how to make wine during Prohibition and the great depression from his father Enrico, who immigrated to America from Farneta, Italy in 1901. Today, Tony is custodian of the wine made here and remains true to the traditional methods of his predecessors.
The Region: Sonoma County
Sonoma County is located north of San Francisco and is the biggest wine producing region in California. Sonoma County is home to several American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) and to over 250 wineries. In fact, to better understand this region, it is paramount to have a look into the AVA multifaceted mosaic that defines it.
The Terroir of Sonoma County
Alexander Valley AVA
Located in the heart of Geyserville, northeastern Sonoma County, south of the Mayacama Mountains. The Alexander Valley AVA is known for its big Cabernet Sauvignon.
Bennett Valley AVA
Cool-climate AVA encased by Bennet Mountain (north), Taylor Peak (west), and Sonoma Mountain (south). Syrah is the most noteworthy grape varietals grown in the region.
Top AVA for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Carneros is located north of San Pablo Bay and it's characterized by a cool climate, which was the main criterion used to define the AVA.
located in the northeastern corner of the Russian River Valley AVA, Chalk Hill is its own AVA. Its chalky, volcanic soils and warmer climate are a good fit for Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Moon Mountain AVA
One of the newest AVAs in Sonoma County is located east of Glen Ellen. Currently, there are only 5 wineries, producing mostly Cabernet Sauvignon.
Dry Creek Valley
Small enclosed AVA with less than 10,000 acres of vineyards it's bordered by Lake Sonoma (north), Dry Creek and Russian River (south). Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc are its best wines.
Fort Ross-Seaview AVA
Located near the Pacific Ocean in the western portion of Sonoma County it's famous for high-elevation Pinot Noirs of great finesse.
Fountaingrove District AVA
Covering the eastern part of Sonoma County, this tiny AVA is home to only 5 wineries focusing mainly on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah.
Green Valley AVA
located in the southwestern portion of the Russian River Valley, it's the coolest and foggiest AVA in the area. Green Valley AVA's climate and Goldridge soil are perfect for Pinot Noir.
Knights Valley AVA
Abut Mount St. Helena, this remote AVA is characterized by high-altitude vineyards planted mostly with Cabernet Sauvignon.
Russian River Valley AVA
Located less than 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean, Russian River Valley enjoys a cool climate with steep variations between day and night. This is the land of excellent Pinot Noir.
Petaluma Gap AVA
This is the newest AVA in Sonoma County (2017), the gateway to the Sonoma County wine region. Here we can find Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Chardonnay vineyards.
bordering with Dry Creek Valley (north), Rockpile is a rugged land of steep hillsides and cool breezes home to some of the best Zinfandel in California.
Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak AVA
High-elevation vineyards (1,600-3,000 ft.) mostly of Cabernet Sauvignon grown on volcanic soils. Substantial temperature drops between day and night.
Sonoma Valley AVA
Covering the southern part of Sonoma County, this appellation is protected from the Pacific's influence by the Mayacama (east) and Sonoma Mountains (west). Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the main varietals.
Sonoma Coast AVA
Rainy AVA located close to the Pacific Ocean and bordering with Mendocino County (north). Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the key grape varietals of Sonoma Coast AVA.
Northern Sonoma AVA
Large AVA encompassing the territories of Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley, Knights Valley, and Chalk Hill. The most common varietal is Cabernet Sauvignon.
Sonoma Mountain AVA
Hilly AVA within the territory of Sonoma Valley AVA characterized by altitude and well-drained soils. Here Cabernet Sauvignon is king.